Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Batavia HS

January 14, 2023 - 5:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, basketball, Batavia HS, olympia, batavia.


Five of Batavia's players hit double-digits in scoring as the Blue Devils beat Greece Olympia 88-39 on Friday.

Carter McFollins scored 16 points, Carter Mullen 14, Sawyer Siverling 13, Ja'vin McFollins 12, and Aiden Bellavia 11. Adding on, Rashaad Christie scored eight points and Mike McKenzie scored six.

Batavia improves to 8-2 on the season.

Also, in Boys Basketball on Friday:

In Girls Basketball:

  • Elba beat Kendall, 47-12. Sydney Reilly scored 17 points and had 12 rebounds. Haille Scouten scored five points and had 15 rebounds, Kennedy Augello scored nine points and had four assists.
  • Notre Dame beat Alexander, 48-28. Amelia McCulley scored 26 points. 
  • Byron-Bergen beat Attica, 52-25
  • Oakfield-Alabama beat Lyndonville, 49-40
  • Arcadia beat Batavia 44-34
  • Geneseo beat Le Roy, 50-37
  • Wheatland beat Pembroke, 38-36

Blue Devils' next game is away at Livonia High School Tuesday, at 7 p.m.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene






January 5, 2023 - 3:12pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in Sports, basketball, Batavia HS.


Batavia Blue Devils beat Greece Arcadia on Wednesday in Rochester and picked up a win, 66-40.

In the opening quarter, Aiden Bellavia scored eight points, and Ja'Vin McFollins scored five to help push Batavia out in front early.

Second-quarter defensive mishaps by Batavia along with some turnovers helped Arcadia regain the lead, making it 24-23 at the half.

In the third quarter, Carter McFollins scored six points and Mikey McKenzie hit two threes to get Batavia off to a rolling start.

"The third quarter was the key to the game," said Head Coach Buddy Brasky. "We came out of halftime and really increased the ball pressure.  That led to them turning the ball over, which led to us getting out on the fast break. Once we got rolling, we started hitting a few threes, and it was game over."

Batavia added points from Sawyer Silverling, Rashad Christie and Bellavia to give the Blue Devils 25 points in the quarter while holding Greece scoreless, which gave them a 48-24 lead after three.

Blue Devils' scoring leaders were Mikey McKenzie, and Aiden Bellavia, who both tallied 16 points.  Carter McFollins scored 8, Sawyer Silverling 7 

Batavia's record improves to 5-2

The team's next game is at home against Southwestern Central at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene






January 4, 2023 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in rotary tournament, basketball, Sports, Pavilion, Batavia HS, batavia.


Pavilion improved to 6-1 on the season with a 49-35 win over Batavia in a first-round game of the 33rd Annual Batavia Rotary Club Basketball Tournament.

Karlee Zinkievich scored 22 points for the Gophers. Lauren Kingsley scored 17.

For Batavia, Anna Varland and Jaimin Macdonald scored 11 points each.

It was the eighth loss for the Blue Devils this season.

Pavilion faces Notre Dame in the tournament's championship game on Thursday at GCC at 7:45 p.m.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photo by Steve Ognibene






December 28, 2022 - 1:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lions Tournament, Sports, basketball, batavia, Batavia HS.

The Batavia Blue Devils beat Roy-Hart 77-41 at GCC on Tuesday to win their open-round game in the annual Lions Tournament.

Ja'vin McFollins scored 17 points, Rasheed Christie, 16, and Sawyer Siverling, 13.

Batavia will play Le Roy for the large school crown on Thursday at 8 p.m.  Notre Dame and Oakfield-Alabama will face off for the small school trophy at 6:30 p.m.  Both games are being played at GCC.

December 21, 2022 - 12:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, Sports, basketball.

Batavia played another close game in Boys Basketball but, this time, came up just shy of a win, losing to Sutherland 60-58.

For Batavia, Sayer Siverling scored 16 points. Rasheed Christie, Estavon Lovett, Mickey McKenzie, and Carter McFollins each scored seven points.  Ja'Vin McFollins scored six, and Aiden Bellevia scored five.

December 18, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in brennan briggs, batavia, Batavia HS, Sports, football.


Six sectional titles and two state semifinals isn't a bad legacy for most coaches who have been leading varsity football squads for a lot longer than Brennan Briggs coached in Batavia.

Briggs accomplished that feat -- along with a career record of 88-25 -- over 11 seasons. 

In reality, Briggs won six sectional titles over nine seasons because the football program he inherited in 2012 was in shambles.  After years of posting losing records, the Blue Devils needed a coach who could restore player development, discipline, vision, and a relentless drive to win.  It took a couple of seasons for Briggs to fully instill a new system and new attitude in Batavia.  Once he did, the Blue Devils were consistently formidable opponents year after year, game after game.

In 2014, the Blue Devils won the school's first football sectional title since 1991.

"As a fellow BHS grad like Brennan, I know the pride that existed in Blue Devil football when I was a BHS student, and over his successful coaching tenure, Brennan re-instilled that great pride and tradition for all of us Batavians," Superintendent Jason Smith said.

But the effort it takes to consistently win in varsity-level football takes its toll. The coaching doesn't just happen between the lines on Friday nights or during afternoon workouts. There are scouting trips, hours of film review, team meetings, meetings with coaches, meetings with players and parents, and nights just thinking about the next game. Planning and preparation are hard work.  And it is year-round work.

"Brennan is the kind of coach who would never be out-coached," Athletic Director Mike Bromley said. "But that kind of work wears you down."

That's why Briggs is stepping down as head coach of the Batavia football team, and it's what Briggs said in his resignation letter:

It has been an unbelievable journey, but It's time for me to focus on the things I lost sight of over the years, and that's being a good husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. I've been caught up in the ‘process’ for so long, and it is affecting the people who I love the most. In this position, if you’re doing it right, the hours are endless, late nights are a regular, and stress is the norm. Everyone talks about balance. Balance has never been a strength of mine. I’m all in or I’m out. Balance is great, but when you want to be on top, there’s no such thing as balance, and that’s part of why I need to step down. My family needs me to be all in with them, for the long haul. Unfortunately, with my family health history, I believe if I continue down this path, I won’t be around for the ones who need me the most when they need me the most.

It's that all-in character about Briggs that both Smith and Bromley mentioned in discussing the coach's decision to step away from football.

"I have known Brennan and his family over the course of my life through a family friendship, and actually taught Brennan swimming in the Red Cross backyard swimming program in the 80s and early 90s," Smith said. "He is a class act all around -- a humble and confident leader, and I congratulate him personally and professionally on his success.  His wife Justine and children are certainly more than deserving of having their husband and father around more in their lives, and I wish them great happiness."

Bromley said he and Briggs have been discussing the coach's eventual resignation for a couple of years and what a hard decision it was to make, but, in the end, Briggs put his health and his family first.

"He is doing the right thing," Bromley said.

Briggs -- who had himself been a football and hockey star for Batavia --  joined Batavia's football program right out of college, first as a modified coach, then he spent two seasons as JV coach (going undefeated his second year).  He will continue on as a hockey coach, Bromley said. He also remains in his teaching position at Batavia Middle School.

Briggs will continue to have a positive impact on academics and athletics in the Batavia City School District, Bromley said.

"Anything Brennan wants to do, he’s going to be successful at because of his high energy, his work ethic, his character, and people feed off of those things," Bromley said.

Because Briggs built such a robust program, Bromley isn't worried about maintaining the high standards Briggs set.  All of the coaches at all levels of the program are invested in the system and understand it, so whoever steps into the head coach role next, while he might have his own ideas to impart, will find the scaffolding already in place that can build championship teams, he said.

In the near term, the JV team has had three consecutive undefeated seasons, and the modified team lost only one game this past season.

"Brennan has put a program in place that can be sustainable," Bromley said.

Van Detta has been regularly filled to capacity on Friday nights for the past couple of seasons. Bromley doesn't expect that community spirit to fade now that Batavia has a winning program in place.

Bromley hopes to have the new coach hired by the end of January.

Smith said Briggs represented Batavia well as head football coach, and he and the Board of Education are grateful for the positive impact he had on the community as head football coach.

"His program, coaching staff, and student-athletes under his leadership took great pride in representing all of us at BCSD," Smith said. "All the wins and titles weren't too bad either!  On and off the field, Brennan demonstrated commitment, a second-to-none work ethic, and a passion for all that is Batavia."

Photo: Previously unpublished file photo of Brennan Briggs during football practice in 2013. Photo by Howard Owens.

December 17, 2022 - 11:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, basketball, batavia, Batavia HS.

Six makes in six tries from the free-throw line by Cam McClinic in overtime, along with two field goals by Aiden Bellavia, helped lift the Blue Devils over Eastridge on Friday to give Batavia its second win of the season in Boys Basketball.

In all, McClinic was 12-12 on free throws in the game.  He scored 16 points.

Bellavia scored 11, and Ja'Vin McFollins scored 10. He hit two three-point goals and Sawyer Siverling also hit a pair.

Batavia won 52-49.

Cordell Young scored 33 points for Eastridge.

December 15, 2022 - 12:54am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Batavia United, Notre Dame, Batavia HS, batavia, Sports, hockey, Section V.


Story based on submission by BND  

BND started slow, but gained stream as the game went on exploding for six goals in 30 minutes to completely erase a 2–0 deficit after the first period.

"This was the first time all season we were trailing at the end of the first period, and we were down by two," said Head Coach Marc Staley. "But the kids did a really nice job gathering themselves and starting fresh in the second period.”

United scored four goals in the first eight minutes of the second period to go from down by two, two up by two.

“Executing on the power play like we did there in a second period gave us a huge boost," Staley said. "We are going to be a difficult team to beat if teams are going to take penalties against us.”

The Storm were called for three penalties in the early portion of the 2nd period, and BND capitalized on all three.  

Senior Cooper Hamilton scored on the power play only 29 seconds into the period, followed by another power-play goal from sophomore Brady Johnson.  A mere five minutes later, Junior forward Joe DiRisio buried a rebound and made it three power-play goals on three chances.

“Specialty teams are huge in hockey nowadays," Staley said. "We converted three of our four chances on the power play, and we killed off all five of the penalties called against us. I thought the kids did a great job executing in the big moments.”

Junior goaltender Frankie Falleti made 21 stops on 24 shots against. Also scoring for BND was sophomore Ivan Milovidov, sophomore Jameson Motyka, and sophomore Brady Carney, who registered his first ever Varsity goal. 

Senior, Ronin Hofmaster linished with three assists on the evening.

Junior, Defensman, O’Rian Lama chipped in two assists as well.

United out shot the Storm during the game 37 to 25.

“Greece has an excellent program and they are a huge school district," Staley said.  "All four of their high schools combine to create one varsity team. I’m really proud of our kids for going into their home barn and coming away with a victory. This is the bounce back we needed after the loss to McQuaid, and hopefully this gives us some nice momentum heading into “The McCarthy” this weekend”

BND United will be hosting the annual David McCarthy Christmas Tournament on Friday and Saturday.  Iroquois/Alden (4-1) will face off against Niagara/Wheatfield (5-0) at 6 p.m. on Friday evening. Following this game BND (4-1) will take on WFL Geneva (0-3) at 8 p.m.  The consolation game will take place at noon on Saturday, with the championship game scheduled to face off at 3 p.m.

United won the Tournament last year fending off a tough Webster Schroeder squad 5-4.  

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene






December 10, 2022 - 7:24pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in Sports, basketball, batavia, Batavia HS.


Batavia opened up the basketball season on the road against Greece Odyssey and doubled their opponent's score 76-38.

Sawyer Siverling scored 19 points, hitting five three-point shots. Ja'vin McFollins scored 17 points and three a tres of threes. Aiden Bellavia scored 11 points, Carter McFollins, 9 points and Justin Smith, 8 points.

Batavia held Odyssey to 12 points in the first half and maintained a 20-plus point lead from the second quarter to the final buzzer.

Batavia plays Eastridge at home, next Friday at 7:15 p.m.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

To view or purchase photos, click here.








December 9, 2022 - 11:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, basketball, Batavia HS, batavia.

Batavia High beat Greece Odessey in Boys Basketball on Friday night, 76-38.

Sawyer Siverling scored 19 point, hitting five three-point shots. Ja'vin McFollins scored 17 points and three a tres of threes.

November 30, 2022 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia United, Notre Dame, Batavia HS, batavia, Sports, hockey.


Batavia United got its season off to a fast start on Tuesday, scoring three goals in the first period on its way to a 6-1 win over the WFL-Geneva Panthers.

The first goal came at 2:02 on a power play with Jameson Motyka and Brady Johnson feeding  Cooper Hamilton.

Later in the quarter, both Motyka and Ronin Hofmaster would score with assists from Hamilton and Jake Hutchins.

Brady Johnson, Motyka assist, scored in the second period.

Motyka scored on another power play in the third period with assists from Hofmaster and Johnson. 

The Panthers scored their lone goal at 7:34 in the third period and Hofmaster capped off the scoring at 12:06 with an assist from Hutchins.

Goalie Thys Tanner blocked 15 of the 16 shots sent his way.

“All in all, not a bad effort from the squad," said Head Coach Marc Staley. "It’s early in the season, so we are trying to gel as a team and get everybody on the same page. Not sure we have found our identity yet.  We’ve only had 10 practices together due to the storm, and the Thanksgiving holiday. And only two times did we have all of our players on the ice together.   We will learn from this game and get better.  We have a rather large test in front of us this weekend with back-to-back games against Starpoint, and Hamburg, two very strong Section VI teams.  We’re jumping right into the deep end.”

United plays Starpoint at the Northtowne Center in Buffalo on Friday at 5:30pm.  The team faces Hamburg at home at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Submitted photo.

November 21, 2022 - 11:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, Sports, batavia, Batavia HS.


The Batavia Blue Devils are the Far West Regional champions after defeating Iroquois 20-8 at Van Detta Stadium on Monday night.

Iroquois scored first with 1:27 remaining in the first quarter, but the Blue Devils went on to score three unanswered touchdowns.

Aiden Anderson scored on a 3-yard run. Ja'vin McFollins scored on a 7-yard run.  And McFollins connected with Carter McFollins on an 83-yard pass with 2:52 left in the fourth quarter.

Ja'vin McFollins was 5-6 passing for 145 yards. Anderson ran for 28 yards on 13 carries. Cole Grazioplene had three receptions for 54 yards.

Photos by Jim Burns.










November 13, 2022 - 5:38pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in Batavia HS, batavia, football, Sports.


Ja'vin McFollins tossed two TD passes, including one in the closing seconds of the game for a come-from-behind victory on Saturday in Brockport to give the Batavia Blue Devils the Section V Class B championship.

Batavia beat Monroe 14-8.

The 19-yard TD pass to Vincent Arroyo left one second on the clock and Julia Petrie kicked her second point-after of the game.

Batavia scored first in first quarter on a McFollins to Cole Grazioplene 38-yard TD pass.

McFollins was 9-16 passing for 172 yards.  He was intercepted once.

Cam McCinic was the leading rusher with 66 yards on 16 attempts.

Grazioplene had three receptions for 85 yards and Arroyo snagged two passes for 58 yards.

Garrett Schmidt led the defense with 13 tackles and Avion Bethel had eight and McClinic six.  Schmidt also forced a fumble and a fumble recovery.

To view or purchase prints, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene









November 10, 2022 - 5:55pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, City Schools, Veterans Day, notify, Batavia HS, veterans.


Several local veterans were honored Thursday morning during a Veterans Day ceremony at Batavia High School. Band Director Jane Haggett, whose father Robert was amongst the recipients, handed out tokens of appreciation for their service.

They were:

U.S. Army

  • Robert Haggett
  • William Hughes
  • Thomas Steffinella
  • Rich Favaloro

U.S. Air Force

  • Dennis Mahoney
  • Matt Lutey

U.S. Marines

  • Colin Dailey, husband of BHS social worker Lindsay
  • John Dwyer
  • Vincent Pontillo
  • John Gombos

U.S. Navy

  • Tom Cecere
  • Harold McJury
  • Rocco Pellegrino

The district also gave a proud shout-out to members of its own school community.

“The BHS community is very fortunate to have three veterans on staff. We thank them for their service to our country and for keeping everyone safe," BHS Principal Paul Kesler said. "We would like to call the three gentlemen up to the front of the auditorium to receive a small token of our appreciation."

  • Mr. Greg Ciszak, BHS School Counselor: served his country for 12 years in the 152nd Engineer Company as a Staff Sergeant in the Army National Guard. He was a horizontal construction engineer. His unit was activated for numerous state emergencies including snow storms, floods, and the September 11th World Trade Center disaster.
  • Christopher Gorton, a Special Education teacher: joined the Army in 1984 and was in active duty from 1984 to 1989. During a portion of his active duty, Mr. Gorton was stationed in Western Germany. He continued to be on inactive duty from 1989 to 1992. Mr. Gorton was twice awarded the Army Achievement Medal and earned a good conduct medal. His unit received its second presidential unit citation award while he was stationed in West Germany. To this day, Mr. Gorton still carries a Challenge coin from President Reagan, the Commander in Chief, that was given out to the unit.
  • BHS Earth Science teacher Christopher Weicher: served in the United States Marine Corps from 1987 to 1991. Mr. Weicher completed two combat deployments during Operation Just Cause in Panama and the Gulf War 1. While serving his country, he received two combat action ribbons, a Presidential Unit Citation, and a Meritorious Unit Citation while serving with the 6th Marine Regiment.

The event included readings from students about what Veterans Day means to them. Adrien Fytros said that veterans are often defined as those who have been in the workforce for an extensive period of time, and those who have served in the military. 

"Those that have served in any branch of the military are easily the least selfish people in our community and should be treated as such. They are those who would put themselves through intense, rough, and enduring training for years to ensure that we can carry on a worry-free life, explore our interests, and pursue our own careers and dreams we’ve sought out," he said. "Veterans Day as a whole is to honor and give a spotlight to these brave and compassionate people that allow us to do everything we’ve desired to do. 

"Veterans Day is a day to honor those who put their family, community, and most of all, their country and its residents before themselves."

Photo: BHS Band Director Jane Haggett hands out tokens of appreciation the district's thanks to veterans during a Veterans Day assembly Thursday at the State Street school in Batavia. Photos by Joanne Beck.

November 5, 2022 - 2:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, Sports, Batavia HS, batavia.


The Blue Devils put on an offensive show for the home crowd on Friday in a Section V Class B semifinal game, beating rival Livonia 56-14.

Ja'vin McFollins was 8-10 passing for 242 yards and three touchdowns.  Carter McFollins had three of those receptions for 108 yards and a TD, Cole Grazioplene snagged three more for 105 yards and a TD and Cooper Fix had a 21-yard TD reception.

Zay Griffin gained 141 yards on the ground and scored twice on eight carries. Aiden Anderson rushed 15 times for 114 yards and a TD.  Ja'vin McFollins scored once on the ground and Cam McClinic scored once on four carries for 75 yards.

Aavion Bethel led the defense with 14 tackles. Garret Schmidt had 11 tackles and Carter McFollins had eight tackles and an interception.

Photos by Howard Owens

Top photo: Ja'vin McCollins passing to Cole Grazioplene for a 78-yard TD reception in the second quarter.​


Carter McFollins with a 53-yard TD reception in the second quarter.



Aiden Anderson on a 46-yard TD run in the first quarter.



Cam McClinic on a 56-yard TD run in the first quarter.


Aiden Anderson, tackled by Livonia's defense.


Julia Petry on a first-quarter kickoff.



Julia Petry was eight for eight on point after attempts on Friday.



October 29, 2022 - 6:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, Sports, football.

As expected, the Batavia Blue Devils made easy work of Dansville/Wayland-Cohocton in their first-round playoff game at home on Friday night, winning 35-0.


  • Ja'vin McFollins, 31-yard pass to Vincent Arroyo.
  • McFollins, 63-yard pass to Cole Grazioplene.
  • Aiden Anderson, 57-yard run.
  • McFollins, 32-yard pass to Grazioplene.
  • Anderson, 27-yard run.

Anderson finished with 107 yards on the ground on six carries. McFollins was 8-6 passing for 136 yards.

Garrett Schmidt had seven tackles.

October 29, 2022 - 6:34pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in Batavia HS, Sports, volleyball.


Eighth-seed Batavia played first-seed School of the Arts Friday in Rochester for a Section V quarterfinal matchup. 

Batavia dominated the game-winning three straight sets 25-12, 25-10, 25-17.

Batavia stats:

  • Olivia Shell, 10 kills 8 digs 5 Aces
  • Ava Anderson, 9 kills 6 Aces
  • Emma Bigsby, 5 kills 7 aces 3 blocks
  • Sophie Fryer, 7 Aces 2 blocks
  • Ella Bromsted, 22 assists 4 aces 2 kills
  • Clara Wood, 2 aces 3 kills

Batavia advances to the semifinal round this Tuesday at Mercy in Rochester against third-seed Waterloo.  Game time 5 p.m.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene







October 27, 2022 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Cancer Assistance, Batavia HS, volleyball, news.


The Batavia High School volleyball team held their first "pink game" this season, raising $1,100 for Genesee Cancer Assistance.

"We just wanted to do this because it's something that stays in Genesee County, and it's really good to just have the money stay here and benefit our community," said team captain Olivia Shell.

Head Coach James Patric said he expects pink games to become annual events to benefit Genesee Cancer Assistance. There will be more advance planning next season, he said, with a goal of raising $3,000 to $3,500.

"It's amazing to have them want to reach out and do this for us," said Nickie Fazio. "This money is going to be so beneficial to our patients. We're just very grateful. And if they want to do this next year, we're more than happy to help them."


October 26, 2022 - 11:09am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Sports, soccer, Batavia HS, batavia.


The Batavia Lady Devils soccer team ended its sectional run Tuesday evening in Brockport against Aquinas in a semi-final matchup with a 3-0 loss. 

Aquinas had 15 shots on goal, Batavia five. 

Julia Petry had 15 saves for Batavia.  Aquinas had 3 corners, with goals scored twice by Emily Silverstein and one by Mya Kotsch.

Batavia finishes the year 11-3-4.

"This team worked for each other and played with their hearts," said Head Coach Roger Hume. "It was a hard finish to a fantastic season.  We congratulate our seniors on a job well done and are looking forward to the future."

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene







October 23, 2022 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, football, Batavia HS, batavia.


In a season in which no opponent has even come close to beating Batavia, for the fourth time in seven games the Blue Devils held a challenger to fewer than seven points.

This time it was Newark/Marion that Batavia dominated for a convincing 54-6 win.


  • Ja'vin McFollins 30-yard pass to Aidan Anderson.
  • Cam McClinic, six-yard run.
  • McFollins 6-yard pass to Brendan Burgess.
  • Anderson, 3-yard run.
  • McFollins 15-yard pass to Carter McFollins
  • Anderson, 6-yard run.
  • Newark scores on a kickoff return.
  • Bronx Buchholz 30-yard run.
  • Devan Flanagan, 7-yard run.

McFollins was 10-11 passing for 141 and the three TDs.

Mekhi Fortes gained 67 yards on six carries. McClinic, 54 yards and a TD on six carries. Anderson 34 yards and two TDs on five carries.  Bucholz, 45 yards and a TD on three carries.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene








Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break